A major and a minor are offered in English.

The Franklin Pierce Difference

Professor Decker with Student
Students may choose either a Literary Studies or a Creative Writing path through the
major. Both emphases are available as minors as well.

The English Major engages students in the rich heritage of the written word. It provides strong, direct preparation for careers in writing, research, editing and publishing, teaching, and librarianship, and an excellent foundation for contributions to a wide range of professional fields such as law, government, media and advertising, business, culture and the arts.

The English Department seeks to develop each student's ability to write effectively, read intelligently, and appreciate the forms of literature. The Franklin Pierce English curriculum is distinguished in particular by the equal value it places on reading and writing, the critical and creative approaches to literature, and the integration of the two.

Course Details

Program Learning Goals

The Franklin Pierce curriculum is grounded in the study of the great literature of the past, including Chaucer, Shakespeare, the English Romantics and major figures in the American tradition. At the same time, it is open to new currents of expression - to the voices of Toni Morrison and Amy Tan, Salman Rushdie and J.K. Rowling, and to the literatures of multicultural America, the post-colonial world, and popular culture.

Students may choose either a Literary Studies or a Creative Writing path through the major. Both emphases are available as minors as well. Creative Writing includes courses in fiction, poetry, memoir, editing, and writing for publication. Liberal arts core courses provide opportunities for students to explore general cultural knowledge and diverse intellectual disciplines that enhance their English studies.

State-of-the-Art Assessment of Student Learning

The English Department is in the process of implementing a multifaceted program for assessing student learning and the quality of instruction within the department.  Faculty and students alike are enthusiastic about the potential of this program for enriching the educational value of the English major.  See details of the plan and a sampling of comments from those who have experienced it. 

The main point of education is not what the teacher teaches but what the student learns. In keeping with this ‘learning-centered’ philosophy, I encourage students to view themselves as partners in making a course come to life. Plenty of hands-on activities, real-world problem solving, interactive technology, and creative as well as critical writing, ensure that Franklin Pierce students have the opportunity to take an active role in their learning.

Dr. Gerald T. Burns, Professor of English

Want to know more?

Program Sheet ThumbnailDownload a English program sheet to view on screen or print, or view the College at Rindge Academic Catalog for specific degree requirements and course information.


Franklin Pierce University
College at Rindge



Gerald T. Burns
Professor of English
B.A., University of Notre Dame
Ph.D., Yale University

Sarah Dangelantonio
Professor of English
B.A., Spring Hill College
M.A., Saint Louis University
Ph.D., University of Georgia

Donna Decker
Professor of English
B.A., State University of New York, Albany
M.A., Salem State College
Ph.D., Northeastern University


Michael W. Barrett
Lecturer, English
B.A., West Liberty State College
M.A., West Virginia University

Edie Clark
Lecturer, English


English majors have access to a range of opportunities for learning and creative expression outside the classroom, including:

    • Joining the campus chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honors fraternity.

    • Publishing the University's Northern New England Review and the student Fiddlestix literary magazines.
      NNER Submission Guidelines

    • Competing for the Harriet Wilson Fiction, Wensberg Poetry, and Calderwood Creative Nonfiction Prizes.

    • Participation in the Writers Club.

    • Tutoring at the University's Peter C. Wensberg Writing Center.

Student Success

    • English majors have presented papers at national conferences of Sigma Tau Delta and the Collegiate Honor Council.

    • English Graduates have gone on to law and graduate schools, and have taken teaching positions in high schools and colleges, including Franklin Pierce, where an alumna currently serves as chief academic officer.

    • English graduates have gone on to write for Foster's Daily Democrat, run the Atlanta Film Festival, market and plan events for the nonprofit Computers for Children, option a screenplay to Columbia Pictures, edit publications for the CIA, and join the senior ranks at NBC News.